Construction crews are scheduled to begin demolition of the Upper Campus’ west hill, which includes the remains of the Girls Dorm, the Science and Technology building, as well as the Headmaster’s house and ceramics studio, all of which were lost to the Thomas Fire.
The work is scheduled to take place in late April and school officials anticipate the removal of the debris will be about a week-long process.
As for the construction of the new buildings, there is still much work to be done in terms of permitting, planning, and the starting the actual building process, but an architect working closely with the school has high hopes for an opening by the start of the 2020 school year.
“We’re still up in the air right now, there are a lot of different factors involved. So realistically we’re probably looking at being open whenever we open school in 2020,” Mr. Floyd said. “That’s our goal right now is to get everything up and running by then, which is two and a half years out.”
Once the hill is cleared the area will continue to be fenced off and occasionally used for faculty parking.
Additionally, pathways in the village are anticipated to be constructed and completed in about two weeks once the project begins.
Since the small field has been turned into the girls’ village, the annual school gala that is held every May is scheduled to take place on the top of the hill as a way to present new ideas and start moving forward with development.
The removal of the old buildings marks a new beginning for Ojai Valley School. Rather than being defeated, OVS will use this as an opportunity for improvement and growth, Mr. Floyd believes.
“It’s going to be an exciting time,” Mr. Floyd added. “As we finally get to build some things and get newer facilities on board and update some things we’ve been doing.”